On a day when the FA Cup Final caused some cricketers to be mysteriously unavailable, Bramhall fielded a couple of new faces for their game against Urmston.
Unexpectedly winning the toss, stand-in skipper Tom Drury opted to bowl first and turned to returning veteran Chris Heppell to open the bowling. Chris showed no signs of rustiness, swinging the ball from the start of the innings, and was soon rewarded with the wickets of both opening batsmen. When Drury, showing that pace is not an essential attribute for an opening bowler, persuaded Scott to give catching practice to first slip, Urmston were in trouble at 13-3. Heppell struck again, and the trouble deepened: 19-4. Skipper Bilaal Hanif was joined by Richard Partington, and the pair slowly rebuilt the innings until Heppell persuaded Hanif to hit a catch into the covers. An exhausted Heppell completed a fine spell, taking 4 wickets for only 25 runs. 48-5 became 52-6 as Ben O’Brien took advantage of a mix-up to run out Ritesh Shetty. Angus Patel then snared Aaron Moore to leave Urmston teetering at 62-7. Craig Horner joined Partington, who proceeded to take the attack to Bramhall. Although dropped more than once, his clean hitting took Urmston to 136 before the returning Drury beat him in the flight – stumped by Linney. Horner, too, perished trying to attack the slow-mo bowling of Drury, before newcomer Matt Trevyan took the last wicket. A total of 150 all out was better than Urmston had feared earlier.
The Bramhall innings started brightly, with Ellie Mason and Ian Milligan particularly quick to punish short pitched bowling. Ellie then played down the wring line to be bowled by Moore, and the fragility of the Bramhall batting line-up became clear. Milligan continued to attack as a series of batters departed for low scores, before he too was caught for a positive 32. Two of the younger members of the side, Maurice Green and Bobby Blundell, then showed that they have the potential to score runs at this level, each reaching double figures before succumbing. In contrast, the partnership that followed featured two of the less young players in the side, as Ben O’Brien and Laurence Holdern showed commendable obduracy. Eventually O’Brien fell, and Drury was Wilson’s third victim shortly thereafter, leaving Bramhall 60 short of victory.
The 2nds travel to Heaton Mersey on Saturday.